You might have heard that the next generation of wireless standard is on the horizon. This standard is known as 5G and is expected to greatly improve the speed of what we do every day, no matter where we are located. Companies can greatly benefit by upgrading due to increased employee productivity, a better mobile business experience and many more advancements.
What Is 5G?
5G will be the fifth generation of wireless Long Term Evolution (LTE) for mobile devices like laptop computers, tablets and smartphones. In fact, the “G” in 5G stands for “generation.” Today, many of us use 4G. When 4G first hit the scene, you may have been impressed with the speed at which you could download files and stream videos.
If faster is better, then you should love 5G. It’s expected to provide speeds up to 10 gigabits (Gbps) per second – about 40 times faster than the standard speed of 4G.
Additionally, 5G will support over 100 billion connections. For perspective, there are about 8.4 billion devices connected to the Internet in 2017, and that number is forecast to reach 29 billion by 2022 (Ericsson). That means it is designed to meet demand, and then some.
What Will 5G Offer?
The significantly faster speed of 5G will enable much faster downloads. For instance, if a two-gigabyte (GB) file takes about nine minutes to download over a 4G connection, you’ll be able to download the same file in just seconds.
Although 4G has solved the need for wired or broadband wireless connections in some environments, 5G will provide businesses with enterprise-strength cellular Internet. With this strength, companies could use it as their primary Internet technology in the office and for remote workers.
Finally, 5G will provide enhanced coverage. Because of how the technology works, mobile users should experience fewer dead zones. That’s a huge benefit for sales staff, field personnel and other employees who work remotely.
How Will 5G Change How We Work?
At its core, 5G will improve how you regularly conduct business. A major game-changer is that
It will provide a foundation on which to run much more complex mobile apps, offering as much as 10 times the current network throughput. Mobile apps will have real-time access to cloud storage, delivering expanded functionality and integration with other valuable business assets.
Companies will also be able to replace conference calls with streaming video conferences without audio or video lags. Superior media quality will allow organizations to engage with customers through live video as well, making interactions more personal while promoting brand loyalty.
All this boils down to employees completing work faster and earning back valuable work time. With the advancements of 5G, there is less technology aggravation, leading to greater overall job satisfaction.
5G’s expanded traffic capacity offers a perfect platform for the Internet of Things (IoT), such as connected cars and consumer wearables, and may eventually control traffic lights and streetlights in “smart cities.” Technology company Ericsson estimates that, of the 29 billion connected devices that will be in use in five years, 18 billion of those will be IoT-related.
When Will it Arrive?
By late 2017, the official specification that properly defines 5G should be released. It will take time for carriers to upgrade their infrastructure, so expect it to officially launch sometime in 2018 with broad deployment in the United States in 2019 or 2020. On a larger scale, 5G should be available to about 15% of the world’s population by 2022.
To accommodate 5G connectivity, customers will need to purchase compatible mobile devices, much like the switch from 3G to 4G. However, 3G and 4G will not go away, and those wireless generations should work seamlessly.
Whether your company is an early adopter or prefers to see how other companies fare before implementing new technology, 5G has a place in your business’ future. Begin planning now for a small-scale test and eventually a wholesale transition. Embracing 5G will show your business partners and customers that you can adapt to the changing needs of the business environment.